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Type Inclusion Constraints and Type Inference
 In Proceedings of the 1993 Conference on Functional Programming Languages and Computer Architecture
, 1993
"... We present a general algorithm for solving systems of inclusion constraints over type expressions. The constraint language includes function types, constructor types, and liberal intersection and union types. We illustrate the application of our constraint solving algorithm with a type inference sys ..."
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Cited by 234 (21 self)
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We present a general algorithm for solving systems of inclusion constraints over type expressions. The constraint language includes function types, constructor types, and liberal intersection and union types. We illustrate the application of our constraint solving algorithm with a type inference system for the lambda calculus with constants. In this system, every pure lambda term has a (computable) type and every term typable in the Hindley/Milner system has all of its Hindley/Milner types. Thus, the inference system is an extension of the Hindley/Milner system that can type a very large set of lambda terms. 1 Introduction Type inference systems for functional languages are based on solving systems of type constraints. The best known and most widely used type inference algorithm was first discovered by Hindley and later independently by Milner [Hin69, Mil78]. In its simplest form, the algorithm generates type equations from the program text and then solves the equations. If the equati...
Regular expression types for XML
"... We propose regular expression types as a foundation for statically typed XML processing languages. Regular expression types, like most schema languages for XML, introduce regular expression notations such as repetition (*), alternation (), etc., to describe XML documents. The novelty of our type sy ..."
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Cited by 204 (21 self)
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We propose regular expression types as a foundation for statically typed XML processing languages. Regular expression types, like most schema languages for XML, introduce regular expression notations such as repetition (*), alternation (), etc., to describe XML documents. The novelty of our type system is a semantic presentation of subtyping, as inclusion between the sets of documents denoted by two types. We give several examples illustrating the usefulness of this form of subtyping in XML processing. The decision problem for the subtype relation reduces to the inclusion problem between tree automata, which is known to be exptimecomplete. To avoid this high complexity in typical cases, we develop a practical algorithm that, unlike classical algorithms based on determinization of tree automata, checks the inclusion relation by a topdown traversal of the original type expressions. The main advantage of this algorithm is that it can exploit the property that type expressions being compared often share portions of their representations. Our algorithm is a variant of Aiken and Murphy’s setinclusion constraint solver, to which are added several new implementation techniques, correctness proofs, and preliminary performance measurements on some small programs in the domain of typed XML processing.
Soft typing with conditional types
 In TwentyFirst Annual ACM Symposium on Principles of Programming Languages
, 1994
"... We present a simple and powerful type inference method for dynamically typed languages where no type information is supplied by the user. Type inference is reduced to the problem of solvability of a system of type inclusion constraints over a type language that includes function types, constructor t ..."
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Cited by 198 (15 self)
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We present a simple and powerful type inference method for dynamically typed languages where no type information is supplied by the user. Type inference is reduced to the problem of solvability of a system of type inclusion constraints over a type language that includes function types, constructor types, union, intersection, and recursive types, and conditional types. Conditional types enable us to analyze control flow using type inference, thus facilitating computation of accurate types. We demonstrate the power and practicrdity of the method with examples and performance results from an implementation. 1
Program Analysis via Graph Reachability
, 1997
"... This paper describes how a number of programanalysis problems can be solved by transforming them to graphreachability problems. Some of the programanalysis problems that are amenable to this treatment include program slicing, certain dataflowanalysis problems, and the problem of approximating th ..."
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Cited by 157 (7 self)
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This paper describes how a number of programanalysis problems can be solved by transforming them to graphreachability problems. Some of the programanalysis problems that are amenable to this treatment include program slicing, certain dataflowanalysis problems, and the problem of approximating the possible "shapes" that heapallocated structures in a program can take on. Relationships between graph reachability and other approaches to program analysis are described. Some techniques that go beyond pure graph reachability are also discussed.
Solving systems of set constraints
 In Symposium on Logic in Computer Science
, 1992
"... Systems of set constraints are a natural formalism for many problems in program analysis. Set constraints are also a generalization of tree automata. We present an algorithm for solving systems of set constraints built from free variables, constructors, and the set operations of intersection, uni ..."
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Cited by 84 (12 self)
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Systems of set constraints are a natural formalism for many problems in program analysis. Set constraints are also a generalization of tree automata. We present an algorithm for solving systems of set constraints built from free variables, constructors, and the set operations of intersection, union, and complement. Furthermore, we show that all solutions of such systems can be nitely represented. 1 1
Formal Language, Grammar and SetConstraintBased Program Analysis by Abstract Interpretation
, 1995
"... Grammarbased program analysis à la Jones and Muchnick and setconstraintbased program analysis à la Aiken and Heintze are static analysis techniques that have traditionally been seen as quite different from abstractinterpretationbased analyses, in particular because of their apparent noniterati ..."
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Cited by 80 (9 self)
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Grammarbased program analysis à la Jones and Muchnick and setconstraintbased program analysis à la Aiken and Heintze are static analysis techniques that have traditionally been seen as quite different from abstractinterpretationbased analyses, in particular because of their apparent noniterative nature. For example, on page 18 of N. Heintze thesis, it is alleged that ``The finitary nature of abstract interpretation implies that there is a fundamental limitation on the accuracy of this approach to program analysis. There are decidable kinds of analysis that cannot be computed using abstract interpretation (even with widening and narrowing). The setbased analysis considered in this thesis is one example''. On the contrary, we show that grammar and setconstraintbased program analyses are similar abstract interpretations with iterative fixpoint computation using either a widening or a finitary grammar/setconstraints transformer or even a finite domain for each particular program. The understanding of grammarbased and setconstraintbased program analysis as a particular instance of abstract interpretation of a semantics has several advantages. First, the approximation process is formalized and not only explained using examples. Second, a domain of abstract properties is exhibited which is of general scope. Third, these analyses can be easily combined with other abstractinterpretationbased analyses, in particular for the analysis of numerical values. Fourth, they can be generalized to very powerful attributedependent and contextdependent analyses. Finally, a few misunderstandings may be removed.
The complexity of set constraints
, 1993
"... Set constraints are relations between sets of terms. They have been used extensively in various applications in program analysis and type inference. We present several results on the computational complexity of solving systems of set constraints. The systems we study form a natural complexity hierar ..."
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Cited by 74 (11 self)
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Set constraints are relations between sets of terms. They have been used extensively in various applications in program analysis and type inference. We present several results on the computational complexity of solving systems of set constraints. The systems we study form a natural complexity hierarchy depending on the form of the constraint language.
Set Constraints are the Monadic Class
, 1992
"... We investigate the relationship between set constraints and the monadic class of firstorder formulas and show that set constraints are essentially equivalent to the monadic class. From this equivalence we can infer that the satisfiability problem for set constraints is complete for NEXPTIME. Mor ..."
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Cited by 72 (0 self)
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We investigate the relationship between set constraints and the monadic class of firstorder formulas and show that set constraints are essentially equivalent to the monadic class. From this equivalence we can infer that the satisfiability problem for set constraints is complete for NEXPTIME. More precisely, we prove that this problem has a lower bound of NTIME(c n= log n ). The relationship between set constraints and the monadic class also gives us decidability and complexity results for certain practically useful extensions of set constraints, in particular "negative projections" and subterm equality tests.
Decidability of Systems of Set Constraints with Negative Constraints
 INFORMATION AND COMPUTATION
, 1994
"... Set constraints are relations between sets of terms. They have been used extensively in various applications in program analysis and type inference. Recently, several algorithms for solving general systems of positive set constraints have appeared. In this paper we consider systems of mixed posi ..."
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Cited by 52 (10 self)
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Set constraints are relations between sets of terms. They have been used extensively in various applications in program analysis and type inference. Recently, several algorithms for solving general systems of positive set constraints have appeared. In this paper we consider systems of mixed positive and negative constraints, which are considerably more expressive than positive constraints alone. We show that it is decidable whether a given such system has a solution. The proof involves a reduction to a numbertheoretic decision problem that may be of independent interest.
Interconvertibility of a Class of Set Constraints and ContextFreeLanguage Reachability
 TCS
, 1998
"... We show the interconvertibility of contextfreelanguage reachability problems and a class of setconstraint problems: given a contextfreelanguage reachability problem, we show how to construct a setconstraint problem whose answer gives a solution to the reachability problem; given a setconstra ..."
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Cited by 43 (2 self)
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We show the interconvertibility of contextfreelanguage reachability problems and a class of setconstraint problems: given a contextfreelanguage reachability problem, we show how to construct a setconstraint problem whose answer gives a solution to the reachability problem; given a setconstraint problem, we show how to construct a contextfreelanguage reachability problem whose answer gives a solution to the setconstraint problem. The interconvertibility of these two formalisms offers an conceptual advantage akin to the advantage gained from the interconvertibility of finitestate automata and regular expressions in formal language theory, namely, a problem can be formulated in whichever formalism is most natural. It also offers some insight into the "O(n ) bottleneck" for different types of programanalysis problems and allows results previously obtained for contextfreelanguage reachability problems to be applied to setconstraint problems and vice versa.